Oracle After Hours: Stressed out for finals? Here are some things that might help.

Aria Jain, columnist

With finals looming, stress levels for South students are at an all-time high with the pressure of studying for every class and balancing their busy schedules. However, many South students overlook the readily available resources created in order to help them manage their workload including two extremely beneficial programs, the Titan Learning Center and Text-a-Tip.

The TLC is the tutoring center located in the library where students can seek help with any of their courses from a teacher or student tutor. It is a valuable asset that every student has access to, but it is often overlooked by many, especially underclassmen. I think that for a freshman coming into South, or even students in general, it can be daunting going into a foreign place in order to ask for help in a class, which in itself can be challenging too. As a freshman at South last year, I would often pass by the TLC, too scared to go and ask for help. However, when I finally worked up the courage to ask for help in one of my classes, I felt like I had discovered a gold mine. I was surprised to find how accommodating and friendly everyone at the TLC is. Incredibly, there still will be blocks in the day where the TLC will be close to empty with few students taking advantage of such a useful service. I hear stories all the time about kids who said as freshmen they were too scared to use the TLC or wished they knew how much the TLC helped in advance. 

Sadly, another underused resource South offers is the anonymous concern hotline, Text-a-Tip, which allows students to reach a guidance counselor who is on-call 24/7. Unfortunately, this hotline is often perceived as a joke to much of the student body and is tainted by the many conspiracies about whether it is truly anonymous. Text-a-Tip is affiliated with the phrase ‘See something, Say something,’ a mantra which is plastered on numerous walls. But in the eyes of some students, this phrase is associated with being a “snitch.” The bitter truth is that many kids are scared to report incidents, such as bullying, due to the fear of being branded a “snitch.” The worry of the repercussions of reporting someone or something is the barrier between the use of the hotline and why students at South shy away from it. Even though Text-a-Tip has the ability to really help and potentially change the outcome of a serious situation, fear of the unknown deters students from using the hotline, just like the unfamiliarity with the TLC results in many shying away from the resource. 

The problem is that South does not market the purpose of each of these programs and how beneficial they can be to students in the most effective way. During the assembly for the incoming freshman each year, we should have kids from all the different grade levels talk about the various programs South has to offer and how it can help them. With this strategy and students being the ones to advertise the resources rather than posters or adults, it might be received better and more relatable. Without the knowledge of what each program is and how it can help, no wonder students tend to neglect some of South’s most useful resources.